Churchill is a small town in the northern part of Manitoba, Canada, located on the west shore of Hudson Bay. It is most famous for its polar bears. The city is fondly called the Polar Bear Capital of the World. While these bears have benefited the small town’s tourism industry, there’s a whole other side to the story if you are a local.
In Churchill, residents keep their car doors unlocked in order to provide other locals with a quick escape should they encounter a polar bear. While they may appear cuddly and cute, they are one of the most dangerous bears alive.
How Dangerous Are Polar Bears?
In general, bears are not inherently vicious. They are just big enough to see humans as food. They are estimated to be twice the size of a Siberian tiger and are often desperate for a meal.
On land, the Polar bear is one of the biggest carnivores. Due to the fact that they thrive in an icy tundra, there is little to no vegetation for them to eat, which makes them the most carnivorous of all the bear species. They have a huge belly to fill and will always take advantage of food as it is presented.
Polar bears are dangerous because they are apex predators. An apex predator is also known as an alpha predator or a predator that is on top of the food chain or does not have any natural predators of its own. They can easily outrun a person and easily knock you out cold with their pawed fist. While they may seem adorable, they are technically the great white shark of the north.
Polar bears mainly eat seals that poke their heads out of the water or decide to lounge on their territory. But they will consume just about anything, like birds, beluga whales, walruses, musk oxen, and yes, even people. (Source: The Overcast)
What To Do in an Encounter with a Polar Bear?
The color of the polar bear’s fur camouflages them in the white of the snow. But their noses can smell you for miles on end. Their paws are so powerful that they can easily grip on the icy ground than your shoes can. Despite its large build, the polar bear is an agile predator on land and sea. If you see one from afar, it knows you are there on smell alone.
The best way to avoid an attack is to back away slowly. Any fast and sudden movements will provoke the polar bear to attack because it feels threatened. If you cower and hide, it will trigger them to see you as prey. They can be dangerous, but that does not mean they are an absolute threat to humanity. Polar bears have only killed less than 20 people in the last 20 years.
But it is always better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to add to the statistics. You don’t stand a chance against an animal that weighs over a thousand pounds. When you see a polar bear or when there are warnings around, avoid those areas. (Source: The Overcast)